Trenton and three towns bordering the city have enacted curfews for Monday night in response to the violence and looting that took place in Trenton and Hamilton on Sunday night following two days of peaceful protest against police brutality in the city.
The curfews begin at 7 p.m. Monday and end at 6 a.m. Tuesday. All parks and businesses are supposed to be closed during the curfew, and residents are supposed to shelter in place unless they are essential workers or have an emergency that requires them to travel.
Just after 8 p.m. on Sunday, people set fire to police cars and then began looting stores in downtown Trenton in the East State Street area. Video footage captured the cars burning and people looting a sneaker store and liquor stores. Some people then headed to Hamilton, looting drugstores and stores at the Roebling Market along the way. Hamilton Police received about 90 calls an hour until about 3 a.m. Several arrests were made related to looting, including a break-in at a Family Dollar store on Hamilton Avenue. Police were called to the Walmart on Nottingham Way to protect the store in case people were headed there. State troopers and police from surrounding towns responded to aid city police Sunday night. Police were also dispatched to high-risk locations at malls and jewelry stores in the region.
At least one police officer from Hamilton was injured after being hit in the head with an object.
Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin issued a statement on Monday along with the curfew order, expressing sadness over the senseless murder of George Floyd and solidarity with peaceful protesters.
“While we are a nation grieving for those tragically killed, we cannot allow our message of ‘liberty and justice for all’ to be muted by the looting and violence seen over the weekend across our country, including the senseless destruction in Mercer County last night. Violence that hurts our residents and our businesses, who are already suffering due to the pandemic, does not help to seek justice for Mr. Floyd and countless others before him,” Martin said. “We as humans are inherently imperfect but must not let the negative work of the few, destroy the positive work of the many. I implore all of us to stand together peacefully. We must set a better example so the world our children are raised in, is one we can all be proud of.”